Log In
Name:
Pass:
Online Members (0)
No members are currently online.
Current Interguild Time:
Fri Jan 21 2022 9:19 am
Member Chat Box  [click here to enlarge]
Recent Posts and Comments
ShareThis
« Blogs Index < Game Guides < HATPC Guides < Cave Design
« Dekudude's Blog

Before, I say anything, allow me to clear something up: this is not an article on what a puzzle is, or the different types of puzzles. Rather, this article is meant to explain how, exactly, one can make an original, never-before seen puzzle. The techniques mentioned in this article can apply to nearly any puzzle in any game, but I will be focusing on Hannah and the Pirate Caves, a personal favorite of mine.

Original puzzles are difficult to make, especially for beginners. Many people struggle with coming up with a seamless riddle, and on top of that, fail to develop puzzles at an acceptable level of difficulty. Too often are easy puzzles wasted on difficult levels, and even more commonly, difficult puzzles ruin otherwise fun, and simple, stages. These are not hard problems to overcome. Most people just don't know how to do so.

For this first example, we will be using an excerpt from my cave Plutomania.





This is the final result of the trap. To get through to the next part of the cave, Hannah needs to bring the dynamite box to ground-level, so she can hit it, destroy the metal crates below, and continue on. The only way to get the dynamite box is to hit the arrows in the correct pattern. If you are counting left-to-right, Hannah must hit the crates in the following order: 2, 4, 3, 1

Most puzzles in electronic games involve doing different things in a specific order. Hannah and the Pirate Caves is not different. To make a puzzle that requires doing things in an important order, you must first determine the order in which events must be completed. From there, work backwards. As this puzzle requires boxes to be hit in the order 2, 4, 3, 1, I'm working backwards, and starting with 1.





As you can see, to start off, I simply made a fancy arrow pattern that will ultimately drop the dynamite crate. Pretty easy, no? Next up, I need to focus on the 3rd arrow. Remember: keep working backwards!





Again, I simply added another fancy arrow pattern. The "fanciness" is simply intended to make the puzzle more confusing to the player. If each arrow only triggered one other, it would be pretty easy to figure out what happens next. Also, at this point in the puzzle design process, you need to take another variable into account. When adding your extra arrows, it is crucial that they intercept the previously laid down piece of the puzzle. In this case, look at what would happen if you triggered arrow 1 first. It would ultimately end up hitting the wrong arrow, and completely miss the platform supporting the dynamite crate!





Now, you can see the trap is finally coming together. In this step, I also demonstrate an alternate means of interception. Rather than having the newly added arrows block previously placed arrows, I actually shifted an arrow from  previous step up in the grid, and placed a wooden crate underneath it. By triggering the 4th arrow, that crate is removed, and the shift is undone. An interception can be anything that makes a previous step not work that is also undoable.





Finally, the trap is complete. By simply working backwards, and each time creating confusing interceptions, what would take a beginner designer a very long time to perfect can be created in a matter of minutes. What's great about these techniques is that they can be as large or confusing as you want! Use this basic technique throughout your levels, and your stage can be as clever and puzzling as those made by experts with years of experience... even if you're a beginner!

In closing, there is a ton you can do with these simple techniques. Practice them, and you'll be making very impressive levels! Happy level designing! If you have any questions or concerns, don't hesitate to ask!
[?] Karma: +1
User Comments (5)
« Forum Index < The Hannah and the Pirate Caves Board

Isa
[?] Karma: 0 | Quote - Link
Sunday, June 6 2010, 12:11 pm EST
No. I'm an octopus.

Age: 29
Karma: 686
Posts: 7833
Gender: Male
Location: Uppsala, Sweden - GMT +1
pm | email
Quote:
(About the random wooden crate) ...it doesn't affect the puzzle at all


Lol, that's a bad example, because I solved that puzzle by hitting 2, wooden crate and its arrow, 1, 3. I then jumped up and hit the dynamite standing on arrow number 4.

Other than that, it's a good and informative post.
Livio
[?] Karma: 0 | Quote - Link
Sunday, June 6 2010, 6:14 pm EST

Age: 29
Karma: 470
Posts: 9620
Gender: Male
Location: Arizona, USA
pm | email
I placed this in the HATPC Cave Design list-- or since this could apply to any game, should I make a new list called General Level Design?

EDIT: this is my 6000th post!!!
Dekudude
[?] Karma: 0 | Quote - Link
Sunday, June 6 2010, 7:13 pm EST
Dekudude

Age: 29
Karma: 64
Posts: 617
Gender: Male
pm | email
Thanks for pointing that out, Isa. Definitely fixed.


NP Username: xaantan
canadianstickdeath
[?] Karma: 0 | Quote - Link
Sunday, June 6 2010, 11:21 pm EST

Age: 32
Karma: 350
Posts: 2990
Gender: Male
pm | email
For some reason this wasn't in Jebby's Cave Design category, so I added it in.
Livio
[?] Karma: 0 | Quote - Link
Tuesday, June 8 2010, 9:10 pm EST

Age: 29
Karma: 470
Posts: 9620
Gender: Male
Location: Arizona, USA
pm | email
canadianstickdeath said:
For some reason this wasn't in Jebby's Cave Design category, so I added it in.
that must've been part of a glitch that if you're not a staff member and you edited your post, it would remove the post's category. But that's fixed now.

« Forum Index < The Hannah and the Pirate Caves Board

In order to post in the forums, you must be logged into your account.
Click here to login.

© 2022 The Interguild | About & Links | Contact: [email protected]
All games copyrighted to their respective owners.